Pleading Guilty 

Contrary to what it seems, forgoing the help of a defense lawyer when you plan to plead guilty is often a bad idea. Even though it may seem senseless to pay a lawyer money when you are planning to plead guilty, you may wind up with much harsher penalties than if a lawyer who understands the criminal defense system were to guide you through this process. Many people think that the only reason that someone who is accused of a crime would need a defense lawyer is so that they can build a strong case for their defense.   

Many people who have been caught knowingly committing (or having committed) a crime feel that they want to begin redemption by admitting guilt and paying the consequences. It would seem that this self-admission would be looked on by the courts favorably but the reality is, doing this may wind up giving you harsher penalties than if you had not admitted your guilt. This is one of the many reasons it is important to discuss your situation with a reputable criminal defense lawyer before you tell something to the authorities that may wind up penalizing you in the future.

Talk to a Defense Lawyer

Regardless of whether you committed a crime or not, it is almost always a very scary situation to be caught and charged with one. Discussing your situation with a good lawyer who is familiar with the criminal court that is charging you with a crime and who is experienced at successfully defending the rights of people accused of the same or similar crimes to the one you have been accused of, may help you to feel less alone in this difficult time. As well, it will likely help you to make more informed decisions about what your next steps should be. ‘

A good lawyer should be able to help you to understand the implications of your charge, the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and whether or not pleading guilty is in your best interest. Depending on your particular circumstances, a lawyer may be able to explore plea and sentencing agreements that may lessen the severity of your punishment.

The Prosecution

The prosecution’s main goal in your case is to get a judge and/or jury to convict you of the crime you have been charged with. Regardless of whether or not you have a good defense lawyer on your side, the prosecution typically tries to convict you of every count you are charged with and encourages the harshest penalties available to these crimes. Without a good defense lawyer on your side, the prosecution’s job becomes much easier.

If you have been accused of a crime and are planning to plead guilty to it, it is recommended that you discuss your situation with a qualified lawyer before you make a statement to the authorities and/or court that your case is going to be tried in.

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